Kuda Madinyenya - Hygiene elderly Frail Care Roman Blank comes out
Photo Credit: On File

A 95-year-old man came out as gay to help encourage others to stop “living in the shadows” proving that it’s never too late to be your true self .


With Davey Wavey, a popular Youtuber, the now 96-year-old Roman opened up about his coming out.

Roman explains that at 95 years old — after being married to his wife for 67 years and having two children and five grandchildren — he finally felt ready to show the world a part of himself he had known since he was only 5 years old: his sexuality.

“I just told them plain that I was born and was all my life gay,” he said in the video. “And then I told them the whole tragedy of my life.”

Roman and his wife, Ruth, are both Holocaust survivors, according to an Out Magazine story about Roman’s life. They met, courted, and married in Poland in 1948. Shortly after, they moved to Brooklyn.

“To be gay was a crime, and you were condemned to choose either suicide or life in a closet,” Roman told Out of his courtship with Ruth. “I decided to live.”

But that doesn’t mean Roman didn’t love Ruth. The two still love each other very much, they told Out, but like a brother and sister.

Ruth, who learned that Roman was gay shortly after their second daughter was born in 1953, kept the secret of his sexual orientation for 65 years. At 95, the couple finally told their children and grandchildren the truth.

“They understood what happened to me,” Roman told Wavey in the video.  “Can you imagine? 90 years in the closet?”

At 96, he’s now looking for his first open relationship with another man. And when Wavey asked what his type was (Marlon Brando? Ronald Regan? Zac Efron?) Roman gave the most pure answer.

“I don’t care! I don’t look at their face ― I look at their heart,” he said.

“I want to go to sleep [and] have somebody close to me. Not for any other reason but to be sure that someone cares.”

Wavey told The Huffington Post:

“I think there’s a lot to take from this video. There’s a sense of history in understanding how far we’ve come, and the struggles that this man must have experienced.

“Whether you are queer or not, listening to Roman stirs something in all of us. And at a time when the world often feels divisive and divided, it’s good to be reminded of our common humanity. 

A story this incredible doesn’t stop there. Roman and Ruth’s grandson, Brandon Gross, are making a documentary about their life called “On My Way Out.”

The forthcoming documentary captures the remarkable love story of Roman and Ruth Blank. A couple whose experience casts a light on the power and complexity of love, marriage, and deeply held family secrets.

‘On My Way Out’ tells the love story of my grandparents, who after 60 years of what appeared to be the model marriage, revealed that they had been keeping a huge secret from our entire family. Last year, my 95 year old grandfather came clean and revealed to our family that he has been living his entire adult life as a closeted gay man – and Nani has known since giving birth to their second, and final child (my mother.)

Watch the emotional video below:

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Sources: Huffington Post USA

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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